Pak bars Hafiz Saeed from leading Friday sermon, takes over JuD assets

Saeed was never stopped from delivering Friday sermons even during the years when Masjid Qadsia’s control was under the Punjab government.
Pakistan authorities on Thursday sealed the Lahore headquarters of JuD and FIF and detained over 120 suspected militants as part of an ongoing crackdown on banned groups.(AP)
Pakistan authorities on Thursday sealed the Lahore headquarters of JuD and FIF and detained over 120 suspected militants as part of an ongoing crackdown on banned groups.(AP)
Updated on Mar 08, 2019 09:37 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Islamabad | ByImtiaz Ahmad

In the continuing action against militant organisations, Pakistan’s Punjab government on Thursday barred JuD chief Hafiz Saeed from leading prayers at the Jamia Masjid Qadsia at Chowburji Chowk and appointed an official administrator there.

Administrators have been appointed at the Chowburji head office of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) Jamia Al Qadsia and main centre in Muridke after taking control of the premises. A number of JuD properties all over the country have also been taken over by the respective local administrations.

Local media reported that police contingents were dispatched to Jamia Qadsia Masjid to help the administration take control. Police locked the adjoining head office of the JuD late in the night, an official told daily Dawn newspaper.

The official said the JuD leaders and other activists present there offered no resistance and rather cooperated with the law enforcement agencies.

He said the JuD leadership in Lahore had also handed over 75 ambulances to the police. The ambulances have been handed over to ‘Rescue 1122’ - an emergency service in the Punjab province - with a directive to redesign them and make them a permanent part of the emergency services. Similarly, the official said, security had also been tightened at the JuD’s Muridke Markaz where the government had appointed six administrators, including two female officers, in various sections.

The official said a woman government schoolteacher had been appointed as administrator at a girls’ school at the Muridke Markaz, while a doctor had been posted at the hospital. A tehsildar had also been appointed as administrator to run the affairs of the entire premises of the JuD Markaz which housed more than 300 families, he added.

In reply to a question, the senior official said Lahore was home to hundreds of mosques under JuD’s administration and that these would be taken control of in the coming days in phases. The authorities have seized a JuD seminary in Bajaur tribal district. According to a statement issued by Deputy Commissioner Usman Mehsood’s office, the action was taken following directives by the federal government to take over the assets of proscribed organisations.

It stated that madrassa Taleemul Islam, situated in Lagagari area of Mamund tehsil, which was being controlled by the JuD, was seized by the district administration. After taking control of the seminary, the administration had appointed Sher Wali Khan, headmaster of the Laghari government high school, as in charge of the madrassa. The statement did not specify anything about the arrest of the seminary’s teachers and principal.

Meanwhile, the district administration on Thursday took control of a health care facility run by the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation, a charity wing of the banned JuD, in Chitral. Deputy Commissioner Khurshid Alam Mehsud told the media that the management of the hospital situated near Sabzi Mandi had been entrusted to the medical superintendent of DHQ Hospital. When asked about the welfare facilities and the office of the banned outfit, he said these had already been closed.

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Sunday, January 23, 2022